In little more than a year of existence, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has already created a number of journalistic inventions—PREVIEW, CONVERSATION PIECE, YOU SHOULD KNOW, FISHERMAN'S CALENDAR among them.
One reliable indication of the merits of any feature in a magazine is a demand for its publication in book form. SI was pleased, therefore, when one of its inventions, MATCH-WIT, inspired our first book—a collection of 30 of the duet crossword puzzles—which Simon and Schuster published on September 30.
Almost from its original appearance a year ago, another of SI's inventions, TIP FROM THE TOP, drew numerous inquiries as to whether these weekly columns would eventually become a book. I am glad to say that they have and that the book, containing the first 52 TIPS FROM THE TOP, was published by Prentice-Hall on November 30 ($2.95 at any bookstore).
As a book, Tips from the Top retains all of the qualities which have made the tips a welcome weekly friend to that most dedicated of self-improvers, the golfer. One of these qualities is an uncomplicated approach to a single problem at a time. When I was talking the other day with TIP FROM THE TOP'S editor, Herb Wind, he expressed his opinion that some of our most skilled golfers may be able to concentrate on as many as two or three elements in their stroke while addressing the ball. But most of us, I imagine, have trouble enough with one. I know only too well about this in my own case. It is with this fact of golf life that the entire series (which will of course continue regularly in SI) has been designed.
An especially attractive aspect of the tips, as collected, is their balance, both in the range of instruction they cover and as a blend of the experiences of old hands like Tommy Armour and Gene Sarazen, of newcomers like Gene Littler and Peter Thomson, of teaching pros and playing pros.
For the illustrator of TIP FROM THE TOP, Anthony Ravielli, this assignment has been one of the most pleasant he has ever had. "How often," he says, "does an artist get the chance to get paid for drawing the thing he likes most to do?" What Ravielli, in common with thousands of SI's readers, likes most to do is play golf, and lots of it. To all of them, SI's second book will offer a permanent and page-by-page manual of some very good ways to play it better.